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05.24.2010
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How to Speed-Up Windows Vista for Free


Aside from choosing to run less-memory intensive Security Software (switching Antivirus brands) that always need to be running to protect your computer, there are basically 3 different ways to speed-up your computer for free using built-in Windows settings.

  1. Selective Startup
  2. Disabling Unnecessary Services
  3. Disabling certain Visual Effects under Performance Options in Advanced System Settings

In this article, I will be focusing on method #3 above to customize the Visual Effects settings. If you turn them all off, you will get the best performance, but you probably won’t like the hyper-classic look with no frills, so I will show you which settings to keep on, to get the most performance with the least trade-off of visual effects. You can actually play with these settings to suit your needs.

The video below will show you exactly how to do this for Windows Vista. The procedure is basically the same for Windows XP and Windows 7, although the available visual effects will vary somewhat.

Now watch the video below … because your computer can be a little faster in just a few minutes.

 

If you feel this information has helped you, please consider making a modest donation to help keep this website going.


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05.23.2010
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MyCleanPC.com Review

First, if you found this review from eZine Articles, I apologize for not writing about the most important findings I know about MyCleanPC, but eZine Articles will not allow you to write any negative information in articles they publish (even if it is true), so I had to tap dance around the subject, and hope the reader can read between the lines. But now that you are here, you will soon discover what I really discovered about MyCleanPC.com.

As an IT Specialist performing computer maintenance in Hawaii on a daily basis, I routinely remove viruses and malware from home and business computers. If you ask me, it seems that the problem is virtually epidemic with about 7-8 out of 10 computers we check-in for repair being infected. My point is that since we are in the business of removing malware professionally, we know what works and what doesn’t, so what is up with MyCleanPC.com? Are their sensational claims true?

MyCleanPC.com is basically a landing page to direct people to download their real product which is called CyberDefender. To be up-front and blunt, as professional PC Techs, we would “never” use software such as CyberDefender to disinfect a PC, so why would you? In fact, customers often pay us to remove CyberDefender products because of the deceptive annoyances this software employs, much like what you would find in a rogue or fake antivirus program. While CyberDefender is not an outright fake product and works to some degree, it is in no way a serious contender in the malware removal and registry cleaning software business. So how can I make this bold claim and still sleep at night?

CleanMyPC.com Review

First of all, the “real” contenders in the security software industry, such as ESET, Kaspersky, Symantec, McAfee, Trend-Micro, Zone Alarm, AVG, Computer Associates … and many more, all have their products independently certified for product compliance and performance by an accredited 3rd party company known as ICSA Labs. To this day, I have never seen any mention of CyberDefender on their product list, which you can check out for yourself on the ICSA Labs Product List. While CyberDefender boasts about receiving many awards dating back to 2006, “none”  of these awards are from the big-3 certification companies such as ICSA Labs, VB100, or AV Comparatives. It appears that the awards were for the popularity of their product which is based on the number of downloads, but this can be attributed to their aggressive TV and Radio advertising, not the actual quality or effectiveness of their products.

The folks behind MyCleanPC.com is a company called CyberDefender. It is interesting to note that Cyberdefender is also behind another website on TV and Radio called DoubleMySpeed.com which is a fraternal twin of MyCleanPC.com. And for some reason, neither of these landing page web sites lists the price you will have to pay for the actual CyberDefender products they will soon prompt you to buy. But one thing is for sure, they will not allow you to activate the additional products I call the “alleged cure” until you whip out your credit card. First they will entice you into their claws by offering a free diagnosis by prompting you to download a file currently named “InstallCyberDefenderREG-016707.exe”, but then you will have to “pay first” before you can activate the additional products that “allege” to be able to remove the threats it finds.

So why not first try one of the better known companies such as Symantec, McAfee, or Trend-Micro, etc that offers free online scanning tools as well (with some removal capability), after which you can then decide if you want to go forward and use their “free trial” software to try their full-featured product before you buy. CyberDefender only offers free scanning, it will not treat or cure anything until you buy first, which you can figure out by reading the blurb below which is an excerpt from their website about this download.

“The free download of CyberDefender Early Detection Center, Registry Cleaner and other trial product versions are intended to diagnose your computer and identify threats and/or errors that could be eliminated by the same or multiple CyberDefender products after purchase and activation. CyberDefender Early Detection Center download includes free Anti-Virus which does not require payment and will remain active as long as the software is not uninstalled. Computer performance improvements may vary depending on the software you are using and other multiple factors outside of our control.”

Notice how they say “that could be eliminated”. Virtually all the serious contenders provide instantly downloadable “free” trial versions without any limitations other than the length of the trial which usually lasts about 3o days. So why would you take a chance with an “uncertified” diagnostic-only program that you have to pay for first, when there are plenty of free trial, full-featured, certified products readily available. Also, the “real” security software companies all provide enterprise products for corporate business customers, while CyberDefender only seems to target unwary consumers. Show me one big company that consistently uses CyberDefender products and I will bow down.

The bottom line is that this company has a pattern of advertising their product for a short period of time until they get found out, then soon after they just switch to their other name. Then after a while they will start all over again. They just keep rotating their ads for the same lame CyberDefender product under different names all over the country. If their products were really that great, PC Technicians everywhere would be using, promoting and selling it themselves, and I do not know one single PC Tech who ever has. Much of the reputable software we use doesn’t cost much, and some is outright free!

The initial combination of CyberDefender products you will be prompted to purchase is affordably priced around $49.00. But they can be fairly aggressive about their backend support product called the “CyberDefender Live Help Desk” which is considerably higher. Many of the complaints we read about involve the poor performance and unreliability of their products, not to mention substandard customer service. Some just wanted to learn how to remove CyberDefender, and when a customer calls to complain, you might find yourself being asked to whip out your credit card again before they help you. This is when you may be pressured to buy the “CyberDefender Live Help Desk” product I mentioned before. Some frustrated CyberDefender customers who were reluctant to spend any more money would be left on their own. In Hawaii, many of these CyberDefender victims ultimately end up becoming our customers, so we try and educate them to avoid ever being put in this position again. I just wish the local TV and Radio Stations would do more to protect their listeners and viewers from these advertisers that over-promise and under-deliver . Checkout the Ripoff Report to read some of the complaints about CyberDefender yourself.

Conclusion

While CyberDefender is definitely ‘NOT” an outright fake security product, I firmly have reason to believe that it is surprisingly close to one. There are many reasons why a computer could be slow, and some of them can be solved very easily with no software at all with just a few Windows tweaks, something CyberDefender may actually be able to do for you, but not as if it were some miraculous program which they want you to believe. But other problems cause by severe infections is where I can assure you that CyberDefender will fail you. It is not very effective, which is probably why it has never been submitted for certification, and it is certainly not a product that could remain on the market by word of mouth alone with all the complaints. It is probably why they rely on sensational TV and Radio ads to market their product. The reality is that there are just too many similarly priced, reputable alternatives you can use than to take a chance with their product. So, in my opinion, MyCleanPC.com or DoubleMySpeed.com (whatever you know them by) which is powered by CyberDefender makes exaggerated claims about their product which doesn’t serve to help most people with their real computer problems, making CyberDefender a company to be exposed and avoided.

If you feel this information has helped you, please consider making a modest donation to help keep this website going.





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05.22.2010
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SpywareBlaster Review

SpywareBlaster is a passive internet security program from the folks at Javacool Software. With all the malicious websites just waiting like a venus flytrap for an unsuspecting internet surfer to browse by, everybody needs this program.

SpywareBlaster is primarily free, but they do offer the automatic updates option for a small fee, although there is a way to get automatic updates for free. Manual updating is very easy, but you have to remember to do it.

SpywareBlaster main page

Main Page (click for larger image)

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05.20.2010
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How to Run FixWin to Repair Common Windows Annoyances in Windows Vista and Windows 7

The effects of a spyware infection can cause a variety of Windows issues that may be left behind even after the infection has been removed. If you read the previous post about Dial-a-Fix which is primarily for Windows XP, you will be glad to discover this free jewel called FixWin (for Vista and W7) developed by MVP colleague and Windows Registry Guru, Ramesh Kumar for “The Windows Club”. It is a portable program that is a formidable Dial-a-Fix substitute for fixing common Windows annoyances in Windows Vista and Windows 7 (both 32 and 64 bit). Read More Here…

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05.15.2010
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Computer Repair – How to Download and Run Dial-a-Fix to Repair Common Windows Problems (98-XP)



Dial-a-fix is a portable program for repairing various Windows problems such as Windows Update errors and problems with Automatic Updates, SSL, HTTPS, and Cryptography Service Issues, COM/ActiveX object errors, missing registry entries and much more! It can be downloaded for free at Dial-a-Fix. Dial-a-fix is a collection of known fixes derived from Microsoft Knowledgebase articles, Microsoft MVPs, and other support forums. While this tool is primarily meant for power users, technicians, and administrators, it has proven quite safe to use without technical guidance (although guidance is recommended).

Supported Operating Systems: 98, 98SE, Me, 2000, XP, Server 2003 (32 bit). The available repair tool options will vary depending on which version of Windows is being used. Tools not applicable to your operating system will be disabled and greyed out. Dial-a-Fix is most functional when using Windows XP.

dial-a-fix, repair windows xp, repair permissions

To use, simply check the box for the “Fix” you want to apply, and click GO. There are other buttons and tools available through the main dialog as well, such as the Policy Scanner. All tools and checkmarks identify their purpose when you hover the mouse over them. Dial-a-Fix aims to fix problems by setting various features and settings back to their original Microsoft defaults. Below is a screenshot of some of the additional “Tools” available when clicking the “Hammer” button.

dial-a-fix, repair windows xp, repair internet explorer, repair permissions

Dial-a-Fix Overview Video Presentation

Click the video below to view a brief demonstration how to download, and run Dial-a-Fix.

Best viewed in HD

Download Dial-a-Fix

http://wiki.lunarsoft.net/wiki/Dial-a-fix#Mirrors.2Fdownload_locations.2C_and_articles

If you feel this information has helped you, please consider making a modest donation to help keep this website going.





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05.14.2010
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How to Install and Remove Malware with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

For those of you who want to take a stab at removing malware from your computer yourself, this brief 7 minute video will show you how to download, install and run a quick scan with a free product called Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. Assuming you can still access the internet, whether in Normal or Safe Mode with Networking, this is a powerful and very reputable product for removing malware infections such as trojans, spyware, and adware. The free version is passive only and does not offer any real-time protection (you need the full-paid version for that). You can download both the free and paid versions at http://www.malwarebytes.org. (Video best viewed in HD)

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

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